Not allowed? She was surprised. I was taken aback. My little girl loves to make plans of going to college and running in races. She is completely unaware that women, until relatively recently, were not allowed many things that we enjoy today.
Her younger bother insisted that girls should still not be allowed on golf courses (he's three). "Don't you want that for your sissy?" Daddy asked. "We want her to be able to do everything." I choked back tears. I tried to imagine a time when a mother gave birth to a daughter knowing all she would not have the opportunity to do, to be, to accomplish, to say.
I hardly if ever think about the women who came before me, the women who struggled so that I could vote, own property, enter into legal contracts, go to school, and even have personal and parental rights! It is unimaginable.
Suffrage parade, New York City, May 6, 1912According to Dr. Jamal A. Badawin "the status which women reached during the present era was not achieved due to the kindness of men or due to natural progress. It was rather achieved through a long struggle and sacrifice on woman's part and only when society needed her contribution and work, more especially; during the two world wars, and due to the escalation of technological change."
Whatever the reason, I am grateful. I am grateful to the mothers in the photographs above who didn't care what the neighbors said as they packed their little ones in their carriages that day. And all the other women who endured ridicule and hardship to create the world in which I live. The world in which my daughter lives.